Wales v Ireland match day – crowds on the way to Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.
March 11, 2011
Tag Archives: Cardiff
Photos taken during my time patch reporting from Llanrumney, East Cardiff, for The Cardiffian.
Some photos of Cardiff and special people in Clevedon from over the Christmas period.
They are a little bit bleached out…but it was a free film so I shouldn’t complain!
Campaigners are “bitterly disappointed” at the rejection of their application to prevent development on Rumney Recreation Ground, and are considering appealing the decision.
Independent inspector Leslie Blohm QC who directed a public inquiry into the matter in September, announced that the site should not qualify for village green status on Monday.
His recommendation will allow Cardiff Council to proceed with their plan to build a new High School on the green, should they be granted planning permission.
Don Taylor, head of Save Rumney Recreation Ground and Eastern Leisure Action Group (RREEL), who has campaigned against the development for more than three years, said:
“We feel bitterly disappointed that Mr Blohm has come down in favour of the council, and that our argument did not satisfy his opinion.
“But this is not the end. We have not fought for three years to be defeated by one decision – It is not over until they dig up the first sod of soil.
“We need to stop and assess the situation, inform our members and then plan what to do next.
“We may be taking a legal challenge on the village green decision.”
The Council are seeking to build a £22m Eastern Cardiff High School on the site which will merge the existing Llanrumney High School and Rumney High School.
The two schools, which cover the wards of Llanrumney, Rumney, Trowbridge and St Mellons in their catchment areas, currently have around 1400 surplus places between them.
Leader of Cardiff Council Rodney Berman said:
“I very much appreciate that this news will disappoint a lot of local residents and will not be what they wanted to hear, but we have analysed the situation very carefully and still believe this is the best option educationally for the children of the area.
“This outcome should now allow us to move forward with the establishment of a brand new, 21st Century secondary school.
“The creation of the new school will remove a large number of surplus places which are currently a significant drain on the funding the Council provides to Cardiff’s schools.”
A public inquiry into the village green application made by local residents with support from Cardiff South and Penarth MP Alun Michael was held in September over three days.
Mr Blohm, of St John’s Chambers, Bristol, heard evidence from the council and 145 witness statements by local residents to decide if the site should qualify for the status under the 2006 Commons Act.
To do so, the applicants had to prove the land had been used for sports and pastimes for 20 years ‘as of right’ rather than with permission from the council as landowners.
Mr Blohm ruled there was not enough evidence for this, and stated in his report:“the user was not sufficiently demonstrably ‘as of right’.”
RREEL Chairman Ron Taylor explains the history of the group and the next steps for the campaign
Although campaigners accept the legality of the development proposal under Mr Blohm’s recommendation, it is still felt that the site is the wrong location for the school.
A sore point among residents is the feeling that the council has ignored a petition with more than 3,000 signatures, more than 2,000 letters of objection in response to a public consultation in November and December, 2007, and a 93.6% “No” vote to the proposal in a community poll in February, 2009.
John Ireland, Conservative councillor for Rumney, said:
“It is absolutely appalling the present council committee ignored the referendum. Without a doubt, people in the area are against the school being built on the recreation ground.
“This administration do not listen to the people of Cardiff. I am really disappointed.”
In a written response to the RREEL’s claims that the community poll was a “dictation rather than consultation exercise”, Chris Jones, chief council officer for Schools and Lifelong Learning, said:
“The Council has not ignored the views of residents.
“The Council took the decision that the poll did not detract from the analysis that the Council’s proposal offers the best educational solution, or that other options for the siting of the school are not necessarily affordable within the funding available.”
Map showing area and locations affected by new High School project
Plaid Cymru support
The issue has divided members of Plaid Cymru who have traditionally had a strong following in the area, consistently coming second to Labour in Council elections.
Residents have expressed resentment toward Neil McEvoy, deputy leader of Cardiff Council and leader of the Plaid group, who they claim supported the campaign until Plaid formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
While the Plaid leadership in the council have pledged to support the school proposals, other members of the party remain firmly against it.
Liz Musa, Plaid candidate for the Cardiff South and Penarth seat in the National Assembly elections next year, said:
“The proposals for the new school certainly haven’t done Plaid any good in the area, though I must point out that Plaid branch in Rumney and Llanrumney have always been unanimously against the proposal.
“Yes, Plaid Cymru are in the coalition with the Lib Dems. That doesn’t mean I have to like everything Lib Dems put forward.”
Colin Lewis, who has run as a Plaid candidate in the last three council elections for Llanrumney, said:
“I am devastated, and think the council are making a big mistake.
“As a branch we see things differently from the council leadership. We listen to the people in the area, and think they should get what they want.
“At the next election we will know what the impact has been on support for Plaid.”
Mr McEvoy was contacted but declined to comment.
The event, held at the Old Library in the city centre, was also the preview night for a photography exhibition marking 50 years of the Victorian Society.
The debate opened with the ongoing contentious issue of the enclosure of Bute Park.
Peter Cox, chair of the Cardiff Civic Society, said:
“There has been an incremental erosion of Bute Park – 40% has been enclosed or built on in less than 100 years, and it seems unstoppable. Recently they have put a road through it and built a monstrous bridge.
“Cardiff Castle and Bute Park are a complete thing, not a collection of bits of parkland with a piece of confection in the middle. The park is unique, and anything we do to it now will change it irreparably.”
Cox also criticised the compromise of curatorial standards at Cardiff Castle to attract visitors.
Audience members were also eager to voice opinions on Cardiff council’s planning department.
The plan to build a 16 storey building in the green patch of Callaghan Square was raised. The council received criticism for selling yet another area of green space, felt by audience members to be much valued by workers in the area.
Smaller scale planning committee decisions, such as allowing alterations to listed houses in the city, were also labelled as “lazy” and “badly thought through”. The alterations were described as a “death by a 1000 cuts” for the historical architecture of the buildings.
Professor Judi Loach, of the Cardiff University Welsh School of Architecture, added:
“It is the council officers rather than elected members who push developments through councils. There is a feeling that democracy is being run by executives, not elected officials.
“Councillors often do not understand larger issues or values of individual buildings or spaces like Cathays park or Bute Park, and when it comes to deciding on an issue like that they do not feel like they have the expertise.”
Elaine Davey, chair of the Victorian Society Wales, concluded:
“Let’s cherish what we’ve got. We need to find new uses for buildings as it’s much more sustainable. Just as people recognise the importance of biodiversity in the environment, we need people to recognise the importance of architecture.”
Cardiff council has been contacted for comment.
Article for the Guardian’s Cardiff live blog.
Around 300 protesters from across Wales marched through the city centre today in opposition to the cuts proposed by the government this week.
The march, which started at City Hall and ended with a rally at Sophia Gardens, was held by trade unions who believe that the proposed cuts to public services will cause widespread jobs losses in Wales.
People began to gather outside the war memorial by City Hall from 11pm, holding union flags, Socialist Party banners and umbrellas.
The march started at 1pm and the procession was led with a banner supporting the Newport passport office, which faces closure and the loss of 300 jobs following an announcement from the Home Office last week.
Protesters then marched down North Road to Queen Street, chanting: “No ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts.”
As the march passed the statue of NHS founder Aneurin Bevan, march leader Rob Williams, of the Unite group, paused the procession to pay respect to the former Labour Party member’s efforts for public services.
The march continued down Castle Street, which had been closed to traffic, and culminated at Sophia Gardens park, where a series of speeches were given by union members and politicians.
Speakers included Les Woodward, representing Remploy workers in Swansea, Owen Herbert, of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union, Marianne Owens, vice chair of Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) committee, Charlotte Wiltshire, PCS Wales young members’ committee, Edmund Schluessel, representing Cardiff University Student’s Union, and exiled Saudi Arabian trade unionist Yahya Al-Faifi.
Leanne Wood, assembly member for Plaid Cymru, drew cheers from marchers when she said: “These cuts are ideological. The Tories have been waiting for years to roll back on public services. Wales will not take these cuts lying down.”
But Neil McEvoy, deputy leader for Cardiff Council, struggled to be heard over heckles when he said: “The relationship between Cardiff Council and the unions is better than it ever has been. The fault of the economic crisis is with the Oxbridge boys.”
The rally ended with a message from event organiser Katrine Williams, vice president of PCS, who said: “Today’s demonstration was a great start to a movement that will grow and grow. We will continue to mobilise and work with trade unions to fight against the public sector cuts.”
The march was backed by the PCS, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), the Communication Workers Union (CWU), University and Colleges Union (UCU), the RMT, the National Shops Stewards Network (NSSN) and the National Association of Probation Officers (NAPO).
Ross Saunders, Cardiff organiser of the Socialist Party of Wales, said: “The event was fantastic, it is the start of a campaign against the cuts. We have laid down a marker to show that people from Cardiff and Wales will not take this lying down.”
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) will hold a national demonstration in Hyde Park, London on March 26, 2011, and the National Union of Students (NUS) and UCU will be hold a march in London on November 10, 2010.
Here is a map of the march route to show the scale of the event.
Cardiff protest against the proposed cuts to public sector on the day of the coalition government’s spending review anouncement
Protestors gathered in the city centre last night to oppose the cuts to public services announced in the Government’s comprehensive spending review earlier in the day.
Photo by Anna
Around 50 people gathered by the Aneurin Bevan statue on Queen Street at 5.30pm to vocalise their disapointment at the Government’s decisions, and listened to speeches by Jake Griffiths, leader of the Wales Green party and Marianne Owens, vice chair of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Wales Committee.
Owens said: “We need to spread the message that we won’t pay for a crisis that we haven’t caused.”
Organiser Seb Cooke, of the South Wales Right to Work group, said: “I do not feel that writing to politicians is enough – to make an impression we need protests on the scale that we have seen in France and Greece.
“The government are trying to blame and punish the public services for the economic problems facing the country. It is not right that the public services should suffer, because the banks caused the crisis.”
He also started off a chant: “They say cut back, we say fight back!…Tories, Tories, Tories, out, out, out!”
We all know anger is there, I don’t know anyone who is happy with the cuts. We have the steam of public anger, now we need to build a piston box and convert steam into useful work.
“We object to everything in the public spending review -the cuts are not necessary when there are billions of pounds in evaded taxes. Investment builds the economy more than cuts do, the government is implementing changes without regard to evidence.”
Photo by Anna
This Saturday a larger protest is due take place outside the City Hall and expected to attract protesters from across Wales.